Links 5-21-2010: Ellsbury back Sat, Ortiz vs the press, offense fine, injury updates, prospect news

First the good news – Jacoby Ellsbury has been given the green light, and will return to the Red Sox on Saturday. Putting him in center improves the outfield defense a lot, and allows us to platoon Darnell McDonald and Jeremy Hermida in LF. Jonathan Van Every will likely be sent down to make room on the active roster.

There’s been a ton of misunderstandings about David Ortiz in the press, and he’s voiced his displeasure about it loudly now that he’s hitting again. Some have taken his quieter demeanor in the clubhouse to mean that he’s sulking.

Matthew Carruth at FanGraphs tells Red Sox fans to point the finger at the rotation and the bullpen, because the offense is doing its job just fine, thank you very much.

Sox Therapy agrees with me that Jonathan Papelbon’s looser control may be to blame for the closer’s struggles over the past year and a half. There are some who believe he was way overworked in 2008, and there may be some residual effects on his arm. If there are, everyone is keeping mum about it.

Marco Scutaro has been battling a bit of tennis elbow, and that’s why Angel Sanchez got the start last night against the Twins. A cortisone shot means that there’s inflammation in the elbow, so let’s hope it doesn’t develop into anything more serious.

Josh Beckett re-tweaked his back on a fifth-inning changeup in his last start, and that’s why he had to hit the DL. This seems to discount any theory that Beckett’s recent run of poor starts is due to some other injury. Beckett is expected back in about two weeks’ time. However, it seems like the rotation will be just fine if Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester continue doing what they’re doing. Now if we could just get John Lackey and Daisuke Matsuzaka straightened out, we might see some real run prevention.

With a strong 2010 campaign so far, 1B Lars Anderson has sneaked his way back onto Keith Law’s Top 25 Prospects List at #24. That’s great news for the Red Sox.

22-year old LHP Felix Doubront has been promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, which means that he is progressing fairly rapidly and we could get a look at him later this season, should another pitcher struggle or go down with an injury. Doubront has really upped his stock over the past couple of years, making himself into a pretty decent prospect. He was 4-0 with a 2.51 ERA at Portland at the time of the move, having struck out 38 in 43 innings of work.

The Red Sox are apparently keeping tabs on 27-year old Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta, who failed to hold the starting job in Colorado but is hitting quite well at AAA Colorado Springs. Iannetta is an intriguing catcher with some pop, and he’s also thrown out plenty of runners in his career. I would be surprised if the Sox were NOT tracking young catchers in other systems, given our current catching situation.

Kevin Youkilis is having a tremendous month like he’s never had before. Do you remember when he was simply the Greek God of Walks? John Sickels does, and he revisits what he wrote about Youk’s potential back in 2007.

Mark Simon has an interesting look at the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry using all-time win probability added (WPA), an advanced metric of who helped his team the most when it counted. The biggest Yankee-killer of them all? You guessed it – Manny Ramirez.

Along the same line, Beyond the Box Score went and made a list of pitchers and their all-time WAR per 700 PA. This should give you an idea of who was the most dominant pitcher while they played. Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens and Lefty Grove go 1-2-3.


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